Professor Marcus Banks



+44 (0)1865 274675

Teaching and research interests

Visual anthropology and ethnographic film, Indian urban society and Jainism; ethnicity, nationalism, and neo-nationalism; visual research methods and visual methodologies.

Following earlier research in India and the UK on the social organization of the Jain community, and later on anthropological theories of ethnicity and nationalism, Marcus Banks has spent the last few years conducting research in the area of visual anthropology. His recent research has included studies of cinematographic practice in Colonial India, the history of ethnographic film, and the development of robust visual research methodologies. His current research, earlier funded by the University’s John Fell Fund, is on the practice of forensic science, with a particular focus on the production and consumption of images in forensic contexts.

With David Zeitlyn (Oxford) he recently published a second edition of his 2001 book Visual Methods in Social Research. A second edition of his 2007 book Using Visual Data in Qualitative Research is in preparation.

Current and selected past DPhil students

Marcus Banks is interested in supervising doctoral research projects on visual media, particularly ethnographies of media production and / or consumption, as well as projects relating to the ethnography of forensic science practice and representation. He is primarily interested in projects based in India, or South Asia more generally, but will also consider supervising dissertations based on ethnography in other areas.

Santhy Balachandran
The aesthetics of identity: wedding photography and the Sikh diaspora in the UK

Chihab El Khachab
Screens: technology and mediation in the Egyptian film industry

Shannon Philip (registered with ODID)
Imagining the Indian man: images of violent masculinities in India

Starr Thibodo
Invisible No Longer: An Ethnographic Engaged Approach to Visual Media and Street Children

Janamarie Truesdell
Assessing the effects of pregnancy on the face of the puplic symphysis: implications for ageing

Selected Past Students

Emilie Le Febvre (2016)Visual Knowledge in the Negev: Bedouin Engagement with Visual Materials and Representational Antagonism in Israel 

Ka Kin Cheuk (Kin’s webpage) (2015)
Indians in a Chinese Textile City: The Future of Traders in an Upgrading Economy

Joe Arun (2004)
From Outcaste to Caste: The Use Of Symbols And Myths In The Construction Of Identity: A Study Of Conflict Between The Paraiyars And The Vanniyars In Tamil Nadu, South India

Cathy Baldwin (2011) 
Broadcasting Britishness? Multi-Ethnic Media Audiences, The News and Identity in Swindon

Alicia Blum Ross (2010) (Alicia’s webpage)
'It made our eyes get bigger': Youth Filmmaking and Citizenship in London

Jowel Canuday (2013)
Music, dances, and videos: identity making and the cosmopolitan imagination in the Southern Philippines

Melody Cox (2015)
Masks and Museums: Creating Cultural Identity Through the Visual Arts

Melanie Griffiths (2014)
Who is who now? Trust, truth and identification in the British asylum and immigration detention system

Laila Halani (2005)
Discourses of religion and development : agency, empowerment and choices for Muslim women in Gujarat, India

Gabriel Hanganu (2010)
The Social Lives of Romanian Orthodox Christian Icons

Kabir Heimsath (2011)
Urban Space of Lhasa

Goren Janev (2007)
The Informal Political Organization of Albanians and Macedonians in Republic of Macedonia

Mioko Kurosawa (2008)
Cultural Encounter and Exchange: Japanese Art and Artists in London

Analyn Salvador-Amores (2011)
Batok (Tattoos): Tattooing Identities, Tradition And Modernity In Contemporary Kalinga Society, North Luzon Philippines

Sitara Thobani (2014)
The Anthropology of Indian Classical Dance and the Politics of Nation


For a list of publications, please click here.

This website uses Cookies

Cookies are used to ensure that you receive the best possible experience on our website. If you continue without changing your preferences, we'll assume that you are happy to enable all cookies on this site.